Sustainable tourism on the Mediterranean coasts isn’t just about preserving the places travelers go on holiday.
It’s also about making sure you, as a visitor, have experiences and memories filled with meaning.
Close your eyes and visualize the beach where you learnt to build sand castles. Feel the chill of the transparent water on your feet and the quiet of the spotless, deserted coast all around you.
Now think about the last time you were there.
You swore you’d never go back, didn’t you?
The stacked rubbish standing where your sand castles used to be is just the tip of the iceberg. The devastating effects of mass tourism on the Mediterranean basin go much deeper.
The only way to bring the relentless explosion of tourism in the Mediterranean under control is by adopting a sustainable tourism development strategy.
It will steer visitors towards more responsible behaviour and promote the local economy.
Why Should We Switch to Responsible Tourism?
Why Green Tourism Is Necessary
We need to minimize our impact on natural environments. The building (and rebuilding) of airports, hotels and harbours have eroded the coastline.
Thousands of feet stepping on our sand dunes are a serious threat to its unique wildlife habitat.
More visitors mean more cars and boats polluting the air and the water, unless we have sustainable tourism practices. Ecosystems are as fragile as they are precious, and all the pressure we are putting on them is a death sentence for many endangered species.
Limited resources like water and energy are heavily strained by disrespectful behavior. The increase of pollution and waste is alarming.
How Sustainable Tourism Affects the Locals
A responsible tourist cares about the host communities they visit. Despite popular opinion, more tourism means fewer benefits to the host communities, since the cost of living in the area drastically increases.
Only a handful of people benefit from a new 10-storey hotel, for example. Communities feel forced to ‘play pretend’ with their traditions. Not to mention the commercialization of cultures that diminish the locals of their authenticity.
But responsible tourism is aware of the local heritage and embraces the traditions with respect.
Why We Need Ecotourism Development Strategies
Look to the future: we all want to swim in crystal clear blue water and lie down on enchanting, unspoiled beaches.
Unfortunately, by destroying the natural and cultural attractions that the communities depend on, those destinations will soon lose their appeal.
Irresponsible tourism is ruining the beauty of the Mediterranean coastal areas.
Moving Forward with Ethic Travel
It’s essential to raise awareness of sustainable tourism. When you’re planning your next holiday, think of the impact on the local economy, culture and surroundings.
For the strategy to be successful, though, it’s also important for residents, tourism enterprises and local governments to get involved.
Will your children build their sand castles on a clean, beautiful beach? Or will they have to get more creative, like this:
This summer, you have a choice.
You can either contribute to further damage of our coastlines, or act responsibly and help us spread the word about ConsumelessMed.